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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Puerto Rico - Building Energy Code with Mandatory Solar Water Heating   

Last DSIRE Review: 02/21/2013
Program Overview:
State: Puerto Rico
Incentive Type: Building Energy Code
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Custom/Others pending approval, Comprehensive Measures
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Rough-ins for future renewable energy installation, Solar Pool Heating
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential
Residential Code:2009 IECC with Puerto Rico-specific amendments
Commercial Code:2009 IECC
Code Change Cycle:3 years
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
2011 Puerto Rico Building Code

In 2009, the Governor of Puerto Rico provided assurance that Puerto Rico would update its building energy codes as part of the state's application for State Energy Program funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Specifically, the Governor's Assurance assigned the Puerto Rican Energy Affairs Administration (EAA) the following responsibilities:

  • Implement building energy codes for residential buildings that meet or exceed the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC 2009).
  • Implement building energy codes for commercial buildings that meet the 2007 ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, “Energy Standard for Buildings except Low-Rise Residential Buildings”
  • Implement a plan to achieve compliance with the building energy codes within 8 years of the date of enactment of the ARRA in at least 90% of new and renovated residential and commercial building space.

The EAA worked in collaboration with Hawaii and other territories to develop amendments to the IECC 2009 incorporating considerations such as the tropical climate zone and construction industry of the islands. The amendments were evaluated and approved in June 2010. According to the EAA, these technical amendments were determined by using Energy Plus software that simulates the energy consumption of a building. The final public hearing was held September 30, 2010 to decide the fate of the proposed amendments to the IECC 2009.

The final adopted 2011 Puerto Rico Building Codes include the updated energy codes and are available on Puerto Rico's Integrated Permits System (within the Office of Permits Inspection and Management). The codes reference the International Energy Conservation Code and their effective date depends on the building’s occupancy group type. By March 2017, the state has a goal of 90% compliance on new construction and renovations. Overall, the codes are enforced by the Office of Permits Management, although the Energy Affairs Administration has a significant role in the energy code section and implementation.

Of particular note are the inclusion of renewable energy provisions within the Residential Energy Efficient Chapter. Pool heaters are only allowed if they are powered by renewable or alternate energy sources. And, only solar water heaters may be used for any new one- and two-dwelling units and townhouses (no exemptions). Furthermore, the code contains provisions for required rough-ins for future installation of renewable energy systems (low income housing exempted).

In 1979 the Code for Energy Conservation in Puerto Rico was adopted as part of the Building Codes administered by the Permits and Regulations Administration (in 2010, this agency was replaced with the Oficina del Inspector de Permisos y la Oficina de Gerencia de Permisos or Office of Permits Inspection and Management). Legislation was enacted that assigns the Energy Affairs Administration responsibility for updating the energy code. Later, when the general building code was adopted, there was no separate energy code. The 1999 Building Energy Code was in place until this 2011 code revision.

For additional information about building energy codes, visit U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP).

  General Info EAA
Energy Affairs Administration
P.O. Box 41314
San Juan, PR 00940
Phone: (787) 332-0914
Fax: (787) 721-3089
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.